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India enjoys advantage of democracy over China as global trade juggernaut : DG FIEO

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NEW DELHI : While China possesses an export ecosystem, India as a democracy is better positioned as an exporter to Europe, according to the head of India’s top export promotion organization.

“From a democratic perspective, it’s always better to deal with a country where we have the rules of the law,” Ajay Sahai told Anadolu during the UP International Trade Show in the northern Indian city Greater Noida.

“With the change of the profile of exports, probably Europe will have much reliance on India,” said Sahai, the DG and CEO of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO).

Underlining that it is always “good to deal with a democratic country,” Sahai said India was able to assure businesses “independent organizations” in the long run despite “initial hiccups.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic erupted in late 2019, the Western world, especially Europe, began looking for new suppliers because of the deterioration in supply chains mostly related to China.

India is one of the candidates, especially in leather, textiles, jewelry, food, electronics, and automotive, said Sahai.

“Luckily for us, we’re making inroads into all fields, we have rolled out a production incentive scheme for all the sectors for investments,” he said.

Sahai said the country has begun to bear the fruits of its works, noting that technology giant Apple is building “its biggest plant in India.”

“We were a net importer of mobile today,” he added.

India may not roll out a kind of red carpet as other nations do, but it is home to the greatest profitability compared to anywhere else, asserted Sahai, adding:

“We’re developing an evolving ecosystem and we’re focusing more on ease of doing business.”

India-Europe corridor

Besides trade goals, the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) will also be important for digital transformation, digital connectivity, energy, and food security.

“The corridor is not only about the trade, we are talking about the distant corridor and about the energy security corridor,” said Sahai.

Providing a new route for trade to Europe, the IMEC will save time by 40% and cost by 30% compared to the currently used Suez Canal.

The IMEC was unveiled at the G-20 summit earlier this month in India with a memorandum of understanding between India, the US, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the EU. The plan is to connect India and Europe via the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Greece.

“More important is the digital corridor, because we require very secure data transmission and that’s why the corridor becomes very important,” said Sahai.

“The world is moving toward energy security and therefore for energy transmission, the corridor will also be used. So I’m not just looking at the corridor from the great part of that, that is one of them. But probably more important would be for the digital transformation and for the digital connectivity and for the energy and food security,” he said.

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